PBS and Member Stations to Spotlight "Content, Connectivity & Community" In Nashville

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New PBS President & CEO Pat Mitchell, Journalist Bill Moyers, Branding Expert Jack Meyers, Time Warner's Ted Turner and NYU Dean Catharine Stimpson to Address PBS's Annual Meeting

PBS Board of Directors Meets June 9 and PBS Online and eTV Academy Scheduled for June 13

ALEXANDRIA, VA, June 5, 2000 - More than 1,300 PBS station leaders from across the country - general managers, producers, programmers, communications executives and education directors - will convene in Nashville, Tennessee, for the 2000 PBS Annual Meeting June 9-12 at the Opryland Hotel, 2800 Opryland Drive. The theme of the conference is "Content, Connectivity and Community."

The first full day of the conference, Saturday, June 10, focuses on "Content," with previews of upcoming programming, both on-air and online. Sunday, June 11, carries the theme of "Connectivity," highlighting promotion, communication and branding, including the unveiling of PBS's new fall positioning campaign. The topic of "Community" closes out the conference on Monday, June 12, with sessions featuring citizenship and education.

Following the meeting, on Tuesday, June 13, hundreds of attendees will convene at a one-day PBS Online and eTV academy, where speakers will address how new media initiatives, including Internet/TV convergence and datacasting, can be used to enhance public television's mission.

Conference keynote addresses and major events include:

  • PBS Chairman Colin Campbell, PBS President and CEO Pat Mitchell and Nashville Public Television President and CEO Steve Bass speaking at opening festivities. (June 10, 9:00 a.m.) For Ms. Mitchell, who became PBS's fifth chief executive in March 2000, this will be her first major speech outlining her goals and plans for the nation's premier noncommercial media service.
  • Content and Communications, Part 1 with program producers joining PBS executives for a look at the 2000-2001 season, including appearances by Ken Burns and Bill Moyers. (June 10, 9:45 a.m.)
  • NATURE luncheon featuring a tribute to George Page, the visionary who created the Emmy-winning series in 1982. (June 10, 12:30 p.m.)
  • 1999 PBS Communications Awards. (June 10, 7:00 p.m.)
  • Content and Communications, Part 2, spotlighting upcoming programs from PBS's signature series. (June 11, 9:00 a.m.)
  • Jack Myers, chief economist and CEO of The Myers Group, sharing insights on branding in the multi-channel universe. (June 11, 11:00 a.m.)
  • THE NEWSHOUR WITH JIM LEHRER luncheon, marking the program's 25th anniversary, features Jim Lehrer and senior correspondents Elizabeth Farnsworth, Gwen Ifill, Ray Suarez and Margeret Warner offering their perspectives on the 2000 elections. (June 11, 12:30 p.m.)
  • Dr. Catharine Stimpson, dean of the Graduate School of the Arts and Sciences at New York University, taking a look at education today, as well as opportunities and challenges for the future. (June 12, 9:00 a.m.)
  • Bill Moyers sharing his insights and perspectives on public television's leadership role in enhancing citizenship in America. (June 12, 9:30 a.m.)
  • Previews of programming for 2001 and beyond. (June 12, 10:30 a.m.)
  • Ted Turner, Vice Chairman, Time Warner Inc., giving the final keynote address. (June 12, 5:00 p.m.)

With eight new PBS KIDS shows premiering this fall, children's programming takes center stage at mealtime events. Upcoming PBS KIDS series to be previewed in breakfast sessions include: CLIFFORD, THE BIG RED DOG (June 10, 7:30 a.m.); CAILLOU (June 11, 7:30 a.m.); and the PBS KIDS BOOKWORK BUNCH - six new book-based children's shows airing in a Saturday morning block (June 12, 7:30 a.m.). Rosemary Wells, author of Timothy Goes to School, one of the BOOKWORM BUNCH programs, is attending the breakfast.

Other PBS KIDS program events include a BETWEEN THE LIONS luncheon, celebrating the critical success of this new literacy series (June 12, 12:30 p.m.), and a reception hosted by DRAGON TALES and SESAME STREET (June 12, 5:45p.m.).

The conference also features dozens of professional development seminars and special evening events, including a dinner marking the 30th anniversary of WALL $TREET WEEK WITH LOUIS RUKEYSER (June 10, 8:00 p.m.) and an AMERICAN MASTERS party celebrating the acclaimed biography series' 15th anniversary (June 11, 9:00 p.m.). To get things swinging, there is a JAZZ welcome party previewing the upcoming Ken Burns miniseries (June 9, 7:00 p.m.). A Disco Dance Inferno party introducing STANDARD DEVIANTS TV, a weekly education series premiering this fall, brings the meeting to a close (June 12, 7:15 p.m.).


PBS Online and eTV Summit

The PBS Online and eTV Academy - a new addition to the PBS Annual Meeting - will help public television professionals respond to the emerging demands and opportunities resulting from the launch of new local and national digital programs and Internet services as well as enhanced television. Topics at this session include enhanced TV, local/national online projects, and maximizing education-related content for the Web. More information about this meeting is available at (PBS.org/academy).


PBS Board of Directors Meeting

At 1:00 p.m. on Friday, June 9, the PBS Board of Directors will meet to approve the FY 2001 PBS budget, as well as discuss officer appointments and education, finance, membership, programming, technology, nominating and interconnection issues. Earlier in the day, the Finance, Budget and Audit Committee will convene (9:30 a.m.), as will the Business Committee (8:00 a.m.). On Thursday, June 8, the following committee meetings will take place: Membership Committee (9:00 a.m.), Education Committee (11:00 a.m.) and Programming Policy Committee (1:00 p.m.). The meetings of the Business Committee, Education Committee, Membership Committee, Programming Policy Committee and the PBS Board of Directors are open to the public; however, portions will be held in executive session.

PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a private, nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 34 public television stations. A trusted community resource, PBS uses the power of noncommercial television, the Internet and other media to enrich the lives of all Americans through quality programs and education services that inform, inspire and delight. Available to 99 percent of American homes with televisions and to an increasing number of digital multimedia households, PBS serves nearly 100 million people each week. More information about PBS is available at PBS.org.


Note: Press interested in attending the 2000 PBS Annual Meeting must contact Dara Goldberg at 703/739-5031. All times are approximate.


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Dara Goldberg
(703) 739-5031

Harry Forbes
(212) 708-3001